Unless correspondents ask us not to, this Website will post selected letters that it receives and invite open debate.
Ron Walt writes Sunday, July 27, 2003 from Seattle about Idi Amin and the Entebbe raid
The Entebbe Raid
I am writing you from Seattle, Washington, where I am a former military officer, with a part time hobby in history research.
I have studied the 1976 Israeli raid on Entebbe quite extensively for well over a decade.
I have concluded the popular account is full of contradictions and misinformation, and is still protected by government secrecy classifications. I understand you have published Idi Amin's records of that incident. Is there any way I might acquire copies of this information and any other relevant documents?
I have reason to believe the British SAS may have been involved directly. Any guidance to additional sources would be greatly appreciated.
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David Irving replies:
I HAVE long had an uneasy feeling that Idi Amin is being dealt a bum rap by History. Make no mistake, I have no sympathy for the person whose brutality was responsible for propelling a tidal wave of Ugandan Asians onto Britain's unwelcoming shores, -- an ethnic sunami from which English culture will not easily recover.
May be Idi deserves his reptuation, but some of the stories about him are laid on so thick and rotten that they seem to have been generated by the same sources that have churned out the stuff about Saddam Hussein's sons, now in no position to defend their own names.
As for Entebbe: Yes, I have (stored in Illinois, in safety!) the entire transcript of the Republic of Uganda governmental court of inquiry into the Entebbe Raid. I published extracts in my 1980s newsletter Focal Point. The file was taken off Idi's desk by a German journalist friend of mine (Gerd Heidemann, no less). It is an often hilarious document, as the army officers are questioned as to how the Israelis managed to land three giant C-130 transport planes on their local airfield, hold them intact there for several hours during the gun battle, and take off with their liberated prisoners.
I offered a copy as a gift to the Israeli Government once (the brother of the unlovely Benjamin Netanyahu was killed in the operation, I recall). But that was many years ago -- I probably would not be so generous now. The blue government file holds about 500 pages of flimsies, transcripts of cross examinations of witnesses, etc. Perhaps I will post it on this website later this year. History has after all moved on from World War II.
Picture shows: Idi Amin allegedly kept the severed heads of his opponents in his fridge. Right next to a handily placed package of frozen peas (handy, as it identifies it as a domestic fridge).